Why are WhatsApp users leaving in droves?

Why people leave Facebook-owned WhatsApp – and what it tells us about the value of privacy.

Facebook has experienced a lot of ups and downs over the past couple of years. Most notably, the security and privacy concerns which arose after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Besides the Cambridge Analytica, Facebook and WhatsApp users have also been worried about their personal information after the Snowden leaks, revelations about Mark Zuckerberg’s secret meeting with the US president Donald Trump, overall heightened sensitivity to privacy concerns amid Russian hacks in the United States.

It appears the the social media giant didn’t learn a lesson.

It was revealed this week that Facebook-owned WhatsApp has rolled out a new privacy policy under its terms of use which include some concerning  changes, most notably requiring  users to agree to share their personal information with Facebook or lose access to their account.

There are reports WhatsApp users are abandoning the platform in droves after learning their private information will be shared with the social media giant whether they want it to or not.

Rival encrypted messaging app Signal tweeted many are jumping ship, a transition encouraged by a simple tweet from Elon Musk, the world’s newly crowned richest man.

The mandatory changes are set to take effect on February 8, 2021 and if users don’t accept the new privacy policy before that, they will no longer be able to use the service.

You can find here more details of the changes and what WhatsApp will share and what options and alternatives you have moving forward.

We are in an era of historically unprecedented opportunities for social connection, engagement and communications. Although WhatsApp may still continue to grow, those who leave the platform reveal interesting trends which hint at how future relationships with smart technology, personal data and social media will play out.